*Now is that any way to initiate peace talks? Recently, in an attempt to piggy-pack (no pun intended) on the successful and peaceful outcome of a BBQ held in Kansas between police officers and members of the Black Lives Matter movement there, officers from the Oakland Police Department extended a so-called olive branch in the form of an invitation to a cookout to the local BLM membership.
To say the invitation was not accepted puts it mildly.
Now, I would be remiss not to mention how deeply I relate to the pain behind this lack of enthusiasm. Afterall, I, too, am beyond sick and tired of seeing my people slaughtered. Rage is a difficult emotion to conquer, and Black folks are feeling a LOT of it towards the men in blue…and for good reason.
But we’ve got to turn this sh*t around folks. And we have got to start somewhere.
So why not at a BBQ?
But Karissa Lewis, a Black Lives Matter advocate, is not impressed with the gesture and made it known when she spoke with KTVU‘s Henry Lee.
“Barbecue’s aren’t going to stop the brutality that black folks are facing. A barbecue is definitely not going to stop this blockade,” said Lewis. “And as a radical-black farmer from East Oakland— I eat pigs, I don’t eat with them.”
Fortunately for hope, not everyone shares Lewis’ POV. Activist A.J. Bohannan, who was at the BBQ in Kansas with more than 1,000 people in attendance, sees such events as a possible means towards an end to the damaged relationship between us and them, and appears to believe that if it were not for some of the past events, including the recent deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and the officers in Baton Rouge, moving forward would have much less meaning.
“My heart goes out to the families, those officers in Baton Rouge, but I think the fact that that did happen makes this event more meaningful. I definitely think this is a start for this community, and I definitely want to keep it going.”
An article in Your Black World states the BLM movement is now focusing on ending the war on black people, divestment from companies and institutions that “criminalize, cage and harm black people”, more community control over laws, and lastly, economic justice and reparations.
The Black Lives Matter movement continues to make strides in directing the attention of Black folk to Black business. Recently, $1 Million dollars was invested into Black owned banks.
The Oakland Police Department says their invitation remains open.